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More multi million dollar projects for Waipa

Te Awamutu, February 19, 2001

A $5.76 million Karapiro sports development and $5 million Te Awamutu Museum are among the big ticket items for Waipa during the next ten years according to Council documentation.

Waipa District Councillors went into closed session on Monday February 19th to consider a land purchase for a development project worth $5.76 million. The project includes the $1.5 million purchase of 40 hectares on Maungatautari Road and the $2 million construction of a Karapiro Sports and Recreation Hall.

Chow Hill architects in Hamilton have designed a concept plan of the Sports Hall. The plan shows the Sports Hall’s design and position in relation to the existing conference facilities, which are to be altered and refurbished in the development project.

Community Services Manager Jim Mylchreest stated the Council decided to support the concept of a water sports and outdoor recreation theme for Karapiro in 1996 and Council have been successful with this.

He states the new recreational facilities would include a climbing wall, gymnasium and court facilities capable of providing at least one basketball court.

“A facility of this nature would be ideal for school and sports groups including a training facility for elite athletes particularly with a range of accommodation options on the site,” Mr Mylchreest said in his report.

“It would also be possible to design a winter programme which did not necessarily require outdoor activities. The proposal has the full support of Sport Waikato.”

However, the proposal has prompted a trade off between the Waipa District Council and the Waikato Sports Stadium.

During the Annual Plan estimates meeting late last month, Mayor Hewitt stated that on a political level, funding $100,000 for the Waikato Sports Stadium was the right thing to do, otherwise the Council would not receive vital funding for the newly proposed Sports Hall at Karapiro.

Waipa District Council is expecting $85,000 to be funded for the Karapiro project if Council approves $100,000 for the Waikato Sports Stadium.

Another project for the future of the district is the $5 million Te Awamutu Museum as listed in the Council’s Long Term Financial Strategy and the 2001/02 draft Annual Plan as a year two item.

Councillor Peter McCullough attacked a member of the public at the meeting who had exposed the Museum in the local newspapers stating that Council was not going to build a Museum, as there was no money available for it. “People that do not understand should not be writing such rubbish,” Cr McCullough claimed.

The member of the public was not given the opportunity to respond at the meeting but stated after the meeting that a press release would be issued in response.

Corporate Services Manager John Mills stated during the meeting that “the LTFS Strategy included the Museum at $5 million dollars in a way that is rate neutral.”

Mayor Hewitt claimed the funding of the museum was to be external, which mirrored a statement by the Mayor in June last year of Tainui funding the construction of the Museum.

Councillor Empson stated that Lotteries Commission was working on a feasibility study, which was due in March.

ENDS

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